Trillanes files criminal, admin raps vs. Mocha Uson

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 22) — "The era of fake news is over," Senator Antonio Trillanes said as he filed administrative and criminal charges against Presidential Communications Office Assistant Secretary Margaux "Mocha" Uson on Friday.

In the complaint lodged before the Office of the Ombudsman, Trillanes said Uson must be dismissed and perpetually barred from public office over grave misconduct, violation of the code of ethics of public officials, and violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

He also slapped Uson with three counts of online libel, and violation of the Revised Penal Code for the use of falsified documents.

Trillanes said Uson was spreading "fake news," among which her allegation he owns offshore bank accounts.

He earlier said President Rodrigo Duterte's allegations he had Singapore accounts could be traced back to a report from Uson's blog, on top of other sources. Duterte later backtracked, and said he only made up the account number he publicly announced to throw off Trillanes.

Uson earlier said in her Facebook page she used the word "alleged" in her posts to indicate it was just an accusation.

"Kaya nga "ALLEGED" meaning sabi di umano ng Davao Breaking News Page na ito ay deposits ni Trillanes. Ano meaning ng ALLEGED? - Diumano, Paratang, Bintang," she said in a Facebook post on September 10, after Trillanes first said he will sue Uson for Libel.

[Translation: "That's why I used 'alleged,' it means it was supposedly said by Davao Breaking News Page that these are deposits of Trillanes. What does alleged mean? Supposed, accused."]

But Trillanes on Friday said he is not buying Uson's defense.

"Dito na lang siya sa Ombudsman magpaliwanag. Apparently kailangan niya ng abugado. Yung magagaling na abugado ah at mabibigat itong kaso na i-finile natin," Trillanes said. He attached in his complaint copies of Uson's social media posts.

[Translation: "She should explain here at the Ombudsman. She needs good lawyers because we filed serious charges against her."]

"So let this be a lesson not only for Ms. Mocha Uson but yung sa mga ordinaryong mga kababayan natin na may penchant na mag-share ng pekeng news (but also ordinary citizens who have a penchant for sharing fake news)," he added.

Uson also posted on her social media accounts a countdown waiting for Trillanes to file the complaint, saying she's ready to face the senator.

When asked for comment on the charges presidential appointee Uson is facing, Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella only said Trillanes, a staunch Duterte critic, is "free to do so."

Uson, a celebrity blogger, has actively supported Duterte since the presidential campaign.

She was appointed to the Presidential Communications Operations Office on May 9, even before her term as board member of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board expires on September 30.

Both of Uson's appointments to government positions were met with much criticism, but the President defended his decisions.